If you have a close family member who has been severely injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a loss of consortium claim. However, determining the value of emotional damages is essential but can also be challenging as there is no set formula.
Instead, just as with non-economic damages, every loss of consortium claim is evaluated based on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding the case. For this reason, it is always best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can thoroughly review the case and determine which types of damages would be appropriate.
If you have questions about how emotional damages are determined in a loss of consortium claim, you must speak with a knowledgeable attorney who will address your concerns. Contact our law office and ask to schedule a free consultation with a qualified legal team member.
What is a Loss of Consortium Claim?
A loss of consortium claim may be filed by the spouse of an individual injured by another person’s negligent or intentional actions. However, one of the legal stipulations of a loss of consortium claim is that the accident victim’s injuries must have adversely affected their relationship with their spouse.
While no financial compensation can compensate for emotional loss or stress created in a relationship, a loss of consortium claim can help ease some of the burden a spouse feels after the victim is injured.
Nevertheless, a loss of consortium claim is highly subjective and can be challenging to prove. Therefore, spouses who feel they have evidence that supports such a claim must have strong legal representation.
Our law office understands that dealing with the after-effects of an accident can be overwhelming for an injured victim’s spouse. However, our legal team has extensive experience helping individuals who are adversely affected after their spouse has been injured.
How Are Loss of Consortium Claims Evaluated?
North Carolina law allows spouses of injury victims to file loss of consortium claims if they have experienced loss or emotional challenges after their partner’s accident.
Loss of consortium claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. When a spouse is left to deal with many of the financial and emotional issues resulting from their partner’s injury, undue stress can be placed on the relationship.
Some of the most commonly cited reasons individuals give when filing loss of consortium claims include:
- Loss of affection.
- Emotional trauma.
- Loss of services such as childcare or the ability to do household duties.
- Loss of protection.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of sexual intimacy.
Additionally, if the spouse of the injured victim must spend more time caring for their partner or the accident has resulted in the couple experiencing poor communication, it may be appropriate to file a loss of consortium claim. However, it is also essential that individuals understand the length and extent of the injuries will be scrutinized before any compensation is granted in a loss of consortium claim.
A highly experienced personal injury lawyer understands what factors may be taken into account when a court is trying to decide on a loss of consortium claim. If you still need clarification about what qualifies for a loss of consortium claim, contact a lawyer who can provide more information.
Is a Loss of Consortium Claim Filed Separately From a Personal Injury Claim?
One common misconception is that a loss of consortium claim must be filed separately. However, a loss consortium claim is filed with the injury victim’s personal injury claim. As a result, a loss of consortium claim, and the personal injury lawsuit are joined together and heard simultaneously.
Individuals who wish to file loss of consortium claims should be advised that they are subject to North Carolina statute of limitation laws as with other personal injury claims. Considering the statute of limitations law, individuals have up to three years to file a loss of consortium claim.
Even though three years can seem like a long time, it is imperative that individuals not wait to pursue legal action.
Failure to file a claim within the set time limit will result in the court refusing to hear the case and dismissing the claim. At this point, individuals lose all legal recourse they may have had to file a claim,
Therefore, it is vital that you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can ensure that a loss of consortium claim is filed on time.
Why is it Important to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Help File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Because loss of consortium claims do not have a fixed formula that is used to determine their merit or value, you must hire a skilled personal injury lawyer. An experienced lawyer can evaluate a loss of consortium claim and the accident victim’s personal injury claim.
Loss of consortium claims that are brought because the victim has suffered a severe impairment such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis, spinal cord injury, or loss of limbs have a greater chance of being approved. However, cases are reviewed based on their own merits.
A personal injury lawyer will also advise you on what type of supporting documentation you may need, such as medical records detailing the victim’s injuries. Medical records can also provide evidence supporting your claim that your spouse’s injuries have adversely affected your marriage. Reports from mental health specialists may also be used to demonstrate to the court that you needed professional help to deal with emotional trauma after your spouse was injured.
If you want more information about what qualifies an individual to file a loss of consortium claim, contact Brent Adams & Associates of North Carolina at 919-781-7590 and ask to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with a qualified legal team member. You will only pay us money if we win your case.